On Wednesday, Nov. 11, Americans were honoring those who served our country defending our lives and freedoms. And while famous American athletes greeted the veterans through the media, social networks, and local events, a number of nonprofit organizations hosted golf tournaments that were organized specially for the former soldiers.
Veteran Golfers Association starts its first championship
An international organization called Veteran Golfers Association aims to help the veterans and their families. It was created by Joshua Peyton, a retired Army captain who got injured when he served in Iraq. The man nearly lost his hand in the war, and after returning to the U.S., he went through a rehabilitation program at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
A part of the rehabilitation program in the center included playing golf. The game helped those who lost their limbs regain balance and handle emotional traumas. Peyton, who used to play golf before going to Iraq, saw what an incredible effect playing golf has on him and suggested that his favorite game may help the other veterans. The captain said that golf helped him become whole again.
It took him about two years to fully recover. In 2014, Peyton and his friends from Washington Medical Center founded an organization that would help other veterans to get their lives back. The association’s major mission is to promote “the game of golf to veterans” and their families. According to the union’s co-founders, the game gives these people a better kind of socialization, it lets them compete and stay active regardless of their previous traumas.
Now, the VGA has over 700 members and hosts golf-related events throughout the year. On Wednesday, Nov. 11, VGA has ended its first Golf Championship in North Carolina. Those who have serious injuries or amputated limbs were competing at the same level as the healthy veterans did. There were four groups in the tournament, including one group of 11 female golfers.
The results of the VGA Championship were not announced yet, but some of the scores were already published on the association’s
Tee It Up for the Troops
One more golf tournament for the veterans took place in Dallas. The veterans and their families competed at Bent Tree Country Club. More than 100 golfers joined the event to show their support for the American veterans and their families.
The tournament was organized by Tee It Up for the Troops―an organization that raises money for veterans since 2005. And although the association exists for about ten years, it was the very first golf-related fundraiser organized by the group in Texas.
According to Jay Cassen, the organizer of the tournament in Dallas, most of its participants are close to the case―some of them have lost their limbs in the recent wars, other have close relatives and friends who were killed or injured while serving their country.
The recent tournament helped the organization raise around $100,000. All the money raised during the championship will be spent on various charity programs. About a half of that money will be given to Carry the Load―a non-profit organization that helps veterans in Dallas.
Golf saves lives
The Veterans Day celebration became one more evidence that sports may save lives and support those who are in need, whether or not these people are professional athletes. Especially, when it comes to playing golf.
While the professional golfers deal with their traumas or keep fighting for a new title, the regular golf players participate in charity tournaments. One of the major goals of the tournaments of that kind is to raise money for a certain purpose. For example, a few months ago there was a Golf Marathon hosted by the Golf Fights Cancer nonprofit.
One of the Marathon’s participants, a little boy Ryan McGuire from Foxboro played 100 holes during the event. He did it in honor of a memory of his kindergarten friend who died of cancer. With the help of the golf marathon, Ryan raised over $40,000. The boy plans to give all the raised money to Dana Farber’s specialist Dr. Mark Kieran.1 comment